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Rebecca
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Monthly Reads > Rebecca - The Book

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message 1: by Zeljka (last edited Sep 01, 2013 12:19PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zeljka (ztook) | 2833 comments Mod
Famous Daphne du Maurier's novel, published in late 1930s, Rebecca, passed the test of time (well, we are in the second decade of the new century, aren't we?), and remains still one of the most popular gothic novels, hand in hand with Jane Eyre, Great Expectations and Wuthering Heights. It's worth noting that at the time of publishing Du Maurier had to defend her book against plagiarism allegations.

Here we may discuss the book - whatever we like and don't like about it, memorable passages and our impressions of characters, descriptions and story itself. The movies and series, along with comparisons with the book, please comment in the movies section .


message 2: by Anita (new)

Anita | 1 comments Wow! I can't believe I finally found a place to discuss Rebecca. It has been my favorite book since I first read it as a teenager, or younger. Although the movie is also my favorite, several changes have been made. The scene in the back bar room is not in the book; it takes place in Manderly, in the library, with the telephone in a small room off of it. The broken cherub happens when some books given to "Mrs. de Winter" by Beatrice Lacey slide into it. There is much more in the book, such as visiting Maxim's grandmother. There are two dogs, an old one and Jasper. There are some odd scenes, such as the viewing of Rebecca's body in the morgue. It looks as if they are looking at the floor, not gurney level. I realize they could not put everything in the movie because there is so much detail in the book. I love the book description of the rhododendrons and the other flowers in the "Happy Valley". When Mrs. Danvers and the wife are at the window after the shipwreck, they look down on the slate terrace, and yet a previous scene shows a porch-like structure under the window of Rebecca's room. Others have also noticed that the 2nd Mrs. de Winter's hair is wetter when she is introduced to Mrs. Danvers than it is when she enters the mansion. It has been discussed who set fire to Manderly. It would seem that it was Mrs. Danvers; however, I find it rather difficult to believe that a house of that size could be engulfed entirely before anyone first noticing smoke. In the book, she has packed her things and cleared out, so that leaves us to use our imagination. I know that a miniature was used for the outside of the structure, but what about the inside scenes? If anyone knows where they were filmed, pleasssse, help me. :) I also want to see the stone cottage.


Marren | 127 comments I find it very interesting that the seconds Mrs de Winters first name was never mentioned. Brilliant strategy by the author.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 730 comments Mod
I just read this last month for a different group (and was a catch up from several months ago for yet another group) and I quite enjoyed it, even with some of its flaws. I'll post my review:

(view spoiler)


message 5: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (Dina0221) | 28 comments I totally agree with Anita . I love Rebecca . It was a must read in high school and i absolutely loved it. I mean it was such a captivating book and the movie is even more of an attention grabber. I watch it every time it comes on tv and I'm not working . I love how the second mrs. De winter is portrayed as this delicate flower at the beginning and you learn that she is just as strong as any women when her family is tested . I love how she is a quiet storm. She proves that you don't have to be loud to be heard or a hero. Also doesn't the maid in the movie Rebecca remind you of the wicked witch of the west from the wizard of oz . Well done to both the author and Alfred Hitchcock . The scenery throughout the movie is breath taking (for the most part). There is a fine line b/t genius and insanity in both the book and movie


message 6: by Mrs (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mrs Benyishai | 35 comments I also wonder why her name remains amystery. Any ideas? I find myself wanting to know what happened to them Did they return to England? Have children to inheret Manderly to rebuld it? how can an auther leave us in such suspense ?


Michelle (dmwade_1comcastnet) Is anyone else still reading this book? I'm at about the halfway point and have found it very tedious so far. I did just get to the first real plot twist where the 2nd Mrs. de Winter finds out what really happened to the 1st Mrs de Winter, so maybe it will pick up now. But, so far, it has been really slow to me.


Alana (alanasbooks) | 730 comments Mod
I can't remember the chapter breakdown exactly but I tHink it was around 19 or so that the plot really starts moving. is about where you are?


Michelle (dmwade_1comcastnet) Alana wrote: "I can't remember the chapter breakdown exactly but I tHink it was around 19 or so that the plot really starts moving. is about where you are?"

Yeah, that sounds about right. . .18 or 19. Glad to know it's going to get better. I was getting really bored with pretty much the same things happening day in and day out.


message 10: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (Dina0221) | 28 comments I think by not listing the second mrs. De winter name you are keeping the book a mystery, you are keeping the suspense. It's what makes the book and movie a best seller , classic . It keeps you guessing. Also it is a little slow at first but when it picks up . It really gets going (to me at least).


message 11: by Elena (last edited Oct 06, 2013 04:36PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elena | 109 comments I loved this book ! (I have seen the old movie ages ago but never got the chance to read the book until now!)

I had issues with the heroine being such a pushover and so insecure for the 2/3 of the book, but that was also understandable, given her background and her young age (vs. her 20 year older husband)...

What I didn't quite understand was her willingness to MAJOR SPOILER (view spoiler) I think that this was unimaginable to Hitchcock as well, which is why the movie is different in this aspect :)


Michelle (dmwade_1comcastnet) Elena wrote: "I loved this book ! (I have seen the old movie ages ago but never got the chance to read the book until now!)

I had issues with the heroine being such a pushover and so insecure for the 2/3 of the..."


I agree. It was baffling to me that she so easily accepted what her husband had done.


Elena | 109 comments Michelle - and even in the user reviews NO ONE mentioned this?! I had to go back an re-read just to make sure i didn't make it up ;)))


Jennifer Lafferty | 38 comments One of my favorite books. I've read it three times so far. Daphne du Maurier was a genius at characterization and atmosphere. This book reminds me a lot of one of my other favorites, Jane Eyre. It makes sense that du Maurier was such of fan of Charlotte Bronte.


Elena | 109 comments So Jennifer, do you have any ideas as to how come she never judges her husband? Or resents what he's done...?


Carly (clgreve) | 15 comments I've really enjoyed this book. I too was annoyed with Mrs. De Winter for the longest time (2/3 of the book or so). Then, when Mr. De Winter comes out with it, wow, I didn't see that coming. Is this going to be a movie re-make?


message 17: by Elena (last edited Oct 08, 2013 11:38AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elena | 109 comments Carly wrote: "Is this going to be a movie re-make?
I don't think so - I didn't hear about a new movie coming out - unfortunately!! :(


Jennifer Lafferty | 38 comments Elena wrote: "So Jennifer, do you have any ideas as to how come she never judges her husband? Or resents what he's done...?" It is a little hard to understand why she stayed with him after his confession but throughout the book she seems to see beyond all of Maxim's faults as if he could do no wrong in her eyes. I also think the reader is supposed to believe that Maxim was driven to temporary insanity after years of living with such a monstrous woman.


Zeljka (ztook) | 2833 comments Mod
I've just finished listening to the audiobook read by Anna Massey - she was amazing to listen to, and if you are into audiobooks, I heartily recommend this one!

The suspense throughout the whole book was really good. However, it was difficult to shrug off the fact that our unnamed protagonist (strange how we never get to know her name) so easily forgave her husband. Who is to tell his passion (or hatred) won't turn against her one day? It was so odd she didn't even flinch. Maybe because she herself hated that woman even though she had never known her, because she was constantly under her shadow? It is intriguing how she presented herself weak and submissive, but after finding out her husband had one big indelible flaw, she transformed fast into a strong and determined woman.

Mrs Danvers was so frightening person, so worthy of her late mistress, don't you think so? I can't imagine how evil one can be to even try to entice somebody innocent to suicide. I agree that Du Maurier was superb in characterizations. It was really like reading Jane Eyre!

I am eager to watch the movies now, both the classic and the new one. I am interested into seeing how the new one will differ from the Hitchcock's.


Jennifer Lafferty | 38 comments I've tried to watch remakes of the film but to me none of them come close to Hitchcock's. There's an interesting article by Wilson Taylor comparing the classic adaptation an the newest one. https://brightlightsfilm.com/the-shad...


Zeljka (ztook) | 2833 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "I've tried to watch remakes of the film but to me none of them come close to Hitchcock's. There's an interesting article by Wilson Taylor comparing the classic adaptation an the newest one. https:/..."

For some reason, I cannot access the link you provided. Pity! I am curious to see how the others compare them. For me, the Hitchcock's version is much better, even though it is not quite so faithful to the book.


Jennifer Lafferty | 38 comments Zeljka wrote: "Jennifer wrote: "I've tried to watch remakes of the film but to me none of them come close to Hitchcock's. There's an interesting article by Wilson Taylor comparing the classic adaptation an the ne..."

Sorry about the link here's a similar article from The Ringer https://www.theringer.com/movies/2020...


Zeljka (ztook) | 2833 comments Mod
Jennifer wrote: "Sorry about the link here's a similar article from The Ringer https://www.theringer.com/movies/2020..."

Thanks Jennifer, that was really good article! Forgot totally that Don't Look Now adaptation - it was really good too, quite suspenseful like Hitchcock's Rebecca. I agree with the author of the article. Hitchcock adapted the book too well, no newer adaptation can outmatch his version. Even though he changed the ending! To be honest, Olivier's Maxim was more likable than Du Maurier's for that fact.


JanetE | 4 comments What does Maxim mean when he states in chapter 20 (while confessing to his crime): "It's come too late for you, hasn't it? .... This ought to have happened four months ago ... I should have known. Women are not like men." I am most puzzled by the "women are not like men" portion of Maxim's quote as I would think that men as well as women would think that a spouses first declaration of love after four months of marriage is a tad late. However, is Maxim talking about "love" or his "confession of murder".


Zeljka (ztook) | 2833 comments Mod
JanetE wrote: "What does Maxim mean when he states in chapter 20 (while confessing to his crime): "It's come too late for you, hasn't it? .... This ought to have happened four months ago ... I should have known. ..."

Agreed, ambiguous statement! I am not sure either. I was puzzled (read: annoyed) by his behaviour from the very beginning. Didn't she herself compare his love toward her as a love one has for a puppy?


JanetE | 4 comments Zeljka wrote: "JanetE wrote: "What does Maxim mean when he states in chapter 20 (while confessing to his crime): "It's come too late for you, hasn't it? .... This ought to have happened four months ago ... I shou..."
Thank you for your reply. I worked out answers to my Rebecca questions via a fanfiction titled "Maxim Ruminates" - I wanted to give Maxim and his wife a happy ending. (I half answer the "it's come too late" but still not to my complete satisfaction) https://www.fanfiction.net/s/13948860/1 /Maxim-Ruminates


Zeljka (ztook) | 2833 comments Mod
JanetE wrote: "Thank you for your reply. I worked out answers to my Rebecca questions via a fanfiction titled "Maxim Ruminates" - I wanted to give Maxim and his wife a happy ending...."

Thank you Janet, that was very interesting read! I had no idea people wrote fan fiction to Rebecca too :)


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